Romelu Lukaku tells Inter Milan he wants Chelsea return as deal nears

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Romelu Lukaku will agree to Chelsea move if they meet Inter Milan's valuation - AFP
Romelu Lukaku will agree to Chelsea move if they meet Inter Milan's valuation - AFP

Romelu Lukaku has informed Inter Milan that he wants to return to Chelsea as the European champions close in on a deal for the striker.

Chelsea are locked in talks with Inter over Lukaku and the Italians are braced for a new bid that could clinch the transfer, with the Serie A club reluctantly accepting that they are likely to have to cash in on their star player.

Lukaku had not been expecting to leave Inter this summer and is happy at the Italian club, but Telegraph Sport understands that the Belgian is ready to move back to Stamford Bridge and has now indicated that to Inter.

The Serie A champions value the 28-year-old at around £100million and Lukaku has been impressed by Chelsea’s determination to try to clinch a deal, despite his unwillingness to demand a transfer and Inter’s repeated claims that he is not for sale.

The plans of head coach Thomas Tuchel have also left Lukaku impressed and he is confident he could flourish under the German coach in much the same way he did under Antonio Conte at Inter.

Chelsea are willing to pay Lukaku around £250,000-a-week and make him the most expensive player in the history of the club, having sold him to Everton for £28m seven years ago.

Manchester City made an enquiry over Lukaku back in March, but were told the striker was not planning to leave Inter and the Premier League champions are now focusing their attention on Harry Kane to replace Sergio Aguero.

But while Lukaku had no interest in moving back to Manchester, it is understood that his thoughts have now turned to where he might live in London if his return to Chelsea goes through.

Speaking after a 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in a pre-season friendly at Stamford Bridge, Tuchel described Lukaku as a “fantastic” striker but refused to discuss Chelsea’s interest.

Tuchel did, however, explain that the club hopes to add a different style of striker to the squad to make them more varied in their attacking play.

“We could use a player who is used to playing with their back to goal, whose strength is to keep possession from long balls so we can add this direct style of play to our portfolio,” said Tuchel.

“This is a profile we don’t have in the squad and could be useful, but not for any cost and not hectic or in panic. No matter what happens we will be competitive and have trust in our guys that we can still develop.”

While Chelsea are still looking to sell a number of players, the club have already secured around half of Lukaku’s transfer fee through sales and would potentially cover it all by off-loading Tammy Abraham as well.

Chelsea want to line up a deal for a defender to leave the club before firming up their interest in Sevilla’s Jules Kounde with an official bid. Kurt Zouma has turned down an offer from West Ham United.

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